Laporte strikes with the perfect timing

June 4 th 2023 - 17:11

Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) is the first leader of the 75th Critérium du Dauphiné after a thrilling ending of stage 1, this Sunday in Chambon-sur-Lac. The winner of the Tour de France Jonas Vingegaard himself had to pull a reduced bunch to reel in Rune Herregodts (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), who attacked at the beginning of the day and was only caught inside the last 20 metres. The young Belgian baroudeur even finished 3rd on the day… But he couldn’t resist Laporte, who powered to his third victory in 2023, in only nine days of racing. He now wants to honour the jersey on day 2, another leg sapping stage from Brassac-les-Mines to La Chaise-Dieu.

Highlights- Stage 1 - #Dauphiné 2023

The 147-man peloton set off from the shores of Chambon-sur-Lac early in the afternoon. The demanding course inspires attackers and it takes 12 kilometres of battle to shape the breakaway of the day. Rune Herregodts (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and Fabio Van den Bossche (Alpecin Deceuninck) are the first riders to get away. They are quickly joined by Donavan Grondin (Arkéa Samsic), and then Dorian Godon (AG2R Citroën) and Brent Van Moer (Lotto Dstny).

The Belgian attacker participates in the Critérium du Dauphiné for the third time, and it’s also the third time he makes the break on day 1. In 2020, he crashed out of the race while riding at the front, but in 2021, he was the first leader of the Critérium du Dauphiné… The peloton may be wary of him and his strong companions: Jumbo-Visma and Bora-Hansgrohe quickly start pulling to control the gap.

Hayter abandons

On roads that will be visited by the Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift next month, Donavan Grondin (Arkéa Samsic) chases the first KOM points, up the cat-4 ascents of Côte du Mont-Dore (km 33.8) and Côte de La Stèle (km 41.6). Meanwhile, the bunch control the gap at around 2 minutes.

Rains shower the riders as they reach Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise, 75km into the stage. On wet and slippery roads, several riders hit the deck, including Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) one of the favourites for the stage. As he chases his way back to the bunch, the British rising star goes down again and is forced to abandon as the race enters the final circuit, with a loop of 23.1km to cover three times.

Temperature rises despite the rain

As they cross the line for the first time, the gap is up to 2’45’’. It even reaches 3’ on the first ascent of the cat-4 Côte du Rocher de l’Aigle (1km at 7.3%, summit 11.1km away from the line). Donavan Grondin (Arkéa Samsic) goes first over the top and all but secures the polka dot jersey.

The intensity increases on the closing circuit. Grondin is dropped from the breakaway with 44km to go, and Van den Bossche suffers the same fate a kilometre later. Meanwhile, Jumbo-Visma and Soudal Quick-Step set a strong pace and many riders are dropped, including sprinters such as Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco AlUla).

Heartbreak for Herregodts

Into the final lap, Van Moer is also dropped from the lead group with 18km to go. Godon and Herregodts still push together but the peloton is only 20 seconds behind.

The Belgian drops Godon on the final ascent of the Côte du Rocher de l’Aigle. The peloton only trail by 8’’… But Herregodts pushes his lead to 15’’ on the downhill towards Chambon-sur-Lac!

All of Jumbo-Visma teammates are spent and Jonas Vingegaard has to pull the bunch under the last kilometre banner. Herregodts pushes. But it’s heartbreak for the Belgian youngster as Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) flies past him inside the last 20 metres to take the stage ahead of Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) and the attacking hero of the day.

04/06/2023 - Critérium du Dauphiné 2023 - Etape 1 - Chambon-sur-Lac / Chambon-sur-Lac (158 km) - LAPORTE Christophe (JUMBO-VISMA) - Vainqueur de l’étape
04/06/2023 - Critérium du Dauphiné 2023 - Etape 1 - Chambon-sur-Lac / Chambon-sur-Lac (158 km) - LAPORTE Christophe (JUMBO-VISMA) - Vainqueur de l’étape © A.S.O/Billy Ceusters

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